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Zizinho, Fundo Correio da Manhã - 2.tif
Personal information
Full name Thomaz Soares da Silva
Date of birth (1921-09-14)14 September 1921
Place of birth São Gonçalo, Brazil
Date of death 8 February 2002(2002-02-08) (aged 80)
Place of death Niterói, Brazil
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)[1]
Position(s) Attacking midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1939–1950 Flamengo[2] 172 (88)
1950–1957 Bangu[3] 147 (65)
1957–1960 São Paulo[4] 35 (19)
1959 → São Bento de Marília (loan)[5][6] 9 (2)
1961 Audax Italiano[7] 16 (3)
Total 379 (177)
National team
1942–1957[8] Brazil 53 (30)
Teams managed
1960 Bangu
1965–1966 Bangu
1967 Vasco da Gama
1972 Vasco da Gama
1980 Bangu
Men's Football
Representing  Brazil
FIFA World Cup
Runner-up 1950 Brazil
Copa América
Winner 1949 Brazil
Runner-up 1945 Chile
Runner-up 1946 Argentina
Runner-up 1953 Peru
Runner-up 1957 Peru
Third place 1942 Uruguay
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Thomaz Soares da Silva, also known as Zizinho (Portuguese pronunciation: [ziˈzĩɲu]; 14 September 1921 – 8 February 2002), was a Brazilian footballer who played as an attacking midfielder for the Brazil national football team.[9][10] He came to international prominence at the 1950 World Cup, where he scored two goals. He was lauded as a complete player, with an array of offensive skills such as his dribbling, passing, and shooting ability with both feet, as well as his accuracy from dead ball situations and extraordinary vision. He was Pelé's idol,[7] and is often considered one of the best Brazilian footballers of the pre-Pelé era.


Born at Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, he played for Flamengo, Bangu, São Paulo FC, Audax Italiano of Chile among others teams. He is considered the first idol of Flamengo, club that he defended - winning the state championships in 1942, 1943 and 1944 - until he was transferred just before the start of 1950 World Cup to Bangu. In São Paulo he won the state championship in 1957 being extremely important and becoming an idol.

In the 1950 World Cup he helped Brazil to progress to the final, but their surprise 2–1 defeat to Uruguay tarnished his reputation. Zizinho played a total of 53 times for his national team, scoring 30 goals. He turned down last minute invitations by the CBF to join first the 1954 World Cup Squad and then the 1958 squad, citing on both occasions that it would be unfair on the player being dropped at the last minute to make way for him.

Pelé always said that Zizinho was the best player he ever saw. "He was a complete player. He played in midfield, in attack, he scored goals, he could mark, head and cross."[11]







  1. ^ "Zizinho (Player) | National Football Teams".
  2. ^ [1] Fla-Estatística (in Portuguese)
  3. ^ [2] Almanaque do Bangu (in Portuguese)
  4. ^ "Estadao.com.br - Acervo". Acervo Estadão (in Brazilian Portuguese).
  5. ^ [3] Arquivos do Futebol (in Portuguese)
  6. ^ [4] História do Marília (in Portuguese)
  7. ^ a b Morales, Italo. "El ídolo de Pelé y la selección brasileña que se retiró en Audax" (in Spanish). Diario AS Chile.
  8. ^ "Thomaz Soares da Silva "Zizinho" - Goals in International Matches". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.
  9. ^ "World Football Legends - Zizinho (1921-2002)". World-football-legends.co.uk. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Obituary: Jair da Rosa Pinto". The Guardian. 16 August 2005. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  11. ^ Bellos, Alex (12 February 2002), "Obituary: Zizinho", The Guardian
  12. ^ "World Cup 2014: Fifa announces Golden Ball shortlist". BBC Sport. 12 July 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  13. ^ a b IFFHS' Century Elections Archived 7 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ FIFA.com (30 June 2011). "The Copa America in numbers". FIFA.com. Archived from the original on 2 July 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2017.

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